Conflict is frequently a feature around large footprint projects because of the disruption and change that these projects can generate in societies and the natural environment. Private sector investments can exacerbate or trigger latent conflict, and even community investment programs, intended to be positive, can unearth conflict because of perceptions of uneven distribution of benefits (“winners and losers”). Conflicts can stop projects and cause significant financial losses.

Companies can identify potential conflicts through risk and impact analysis. A number of tools are available to guide companies on how to identify existing conflicts around project areas and how project development and operations might exacerbate those issues or create new ones. In addition, having in place effective grievance mechanisms early on in the project lifecycle is an effective way to identify potential issues and resolve complaints before they escalate.

Resources on conflict minerals are also included here.